January 22, 2015

Addition Games- Turning Frowns upside Down

I have to preface this post by saying that the day before my son was in tears with double digit math. "I hate it- I can't do it, It's too hard, I hate it..." He would just stare at his paper and refuse to try. Nothing short of extreme, but that's what you get with a spirited, artistic, passionate almost 8 year old boy ;)

When I first introduced double digit math, he "got it" right away. He's always been strong & confident in math, but somewhere along the way of worksheet after worksheet, he just kinda shut down and stopped trying. SO, I knew it was time to step in and make it FUN for him. I had to remind myself that our biggest goal with homeschooling this year is "happy learning". So here we go!!
Above is how you set up the white board, with corresponding cards. I cut notecards in half, and numbered them 0-9 in 3 different colors. (the x on the back of the cards just helps me keep the piles organized) I've thought of a ton of different math games we can play just with these sets of cards and a white board. We started with just double digits, so just the orange & blue boxes but then eventually the tens digit carried over and I decided to talk about triple digit addition (I WASN'T even planning on this since he was so turned OFF about doubles, but it came naturally during the game and then it all just "clicked" for him!!) He was thrilled to carry the one again to make a bigger hundred's number. I was shocked. It just goes to show how when you can get a kid to relax and ENJOY what he's learning, he will accept so much more information. This realization made me so excited!

So back to the game- choose 2 cards for each color and place them on the board. You can do this with just the ones digit, ones and tens (double digit) or even ones, tens & hundreds (triple digits). You can compare numbers, add, subtract, multiply, divide... possibilities are endless! 
Since we are working on addition, we just added the numbers up- remembering to carry the 1's when regrouping is needed.

I actually only wrote 0-5 in the green cards (hundreds digit) to prevent a fourth digit, but I didn't think about another carried 1 creating a number over 999- hehe, this is what happens when you make up a game as you go along-- but he didn't care and thought it was SO cool he added up to 1,030! Since my son needs some sort of competition, we took turns and whoever got the higher sum, got a point. First to 5 wins :)

So we played this game for a few minutes, then once he won (0-5, by the way!) we continued our math time with worksheets. I am using a combination of 3 different math books (trying to figure out which curriculum we like the best- Singapore, Encore & McGraw-Hill) so I staple together 2-3 worksheets and create a "math packet" each day. He loves when we do a MATH RACE-- he does his math packet while I clean the kitchen and whoever wins, gets to pick the next activity. He loves being "timed" in a way, but I don't want him to feel rushed, so this works out really well. Plus, my kitchen has been cleaned on a daily basis for a couple weeks now- which is kinda a world record for me. (please dont tell him but I purposefully let him win most days. 1. because a kitchen is never completely clean and 2. because if he is giving his all {and not complaining} I feel like he deserves to chose our next activity!)

I hope these ideas have helped a bit- I'm a big fan of games with learning! 

January 19, 2015

Primary Singing Time- UNO game

I'm in an awesome LDS Singing Time Facebook group and found this idea and download there. We had so much fun playing and singing, and will definitely do it again soon!
You can download and save the UNO board HERE. It prints perfectly 20X30, and costs $8 from Costco.
Then you just split your song into 4 parts, or choose 4 different songs to review. We were learning verse 2 of I Know that My Savior Loves Me.

Bring each color cards 1-3 and a few fun cards- skip, wild & reverse :)
If they get a blue 2, you sing the blue section 2 times. Red 3, you sing the red section 3 times :) If they get a 1, I sang UP to that part so if it's a red 1, we sang through the whole song one time. But you can do that or just that part- totally up to you :)

SKIP: sing the song, but skip the words: The, I, My, And. That was super fun & tricky! :)
WILD: roll the fun dice to see how you sing the whole song (we clapped to the beat)
REVERSE: sing verse 1!

Have fun! :)

When our Homeschooling Day Derails:

After 2 frustrating days in a row, I had to stop to pray and think about what to do when my son gets in one of those moods where he refuses to read or write another word. I know there's a fine line between letting your kid do whatever they want and having an overly structured day where we are both stressed to the max. There HAS to be a medium! So I took a step back and thought- what am I doing right? AND what am I doing wrong?

I realized that the hardest part of our day is the language arts story and worksheets. We do about 4 worksheets a day (That should normally take a child 4 minutes to complete) and it's like pulling teeth some days. He lOVEs science, art and animals, so I save those fun activities for last when the hard stuff is done, but then some days it takes him so long to do one worksheet because he's complaining about it for 45 minutes so we don't get to the fun stuff before brother gets home from school and we call it a day! (He's not like this all the time, but it's definitely something we are working through) As I was feeling frustrated about this I realize that THIS is one of the major reasons we are homeschooling. We have the freedom to study WHATEVER we want, and I am not subject to that checklist of worksheets, I can brake away from that and go at his pace. So I discussed this with our Gorman IST and now I have a lot more freedom with Language Arts. I haven't quite figured out what reading program we will use but I have a few to look up. As long as we are reading, journal writing and doing some grammar everyday, he will continue to learn.

That night I stumbled on a few fb groups and one of them asked this question:
What do you do when your homeschooling day derails? Answers such as:
-bake a cake!
-go outside
-read on the couch
-watch a discovery movie
-call it a day
-play a game
-have a go noodle break: https://www.gonoodle.com
-yell "RECESS!"
-do a puzzle
-play an educational computer game
-do an art project

Reading these allowed me to take a step back and realize the solution isn't me yelling at him or threatening to send him back to school, or telling him to go to his room! (although, I admit I've done all of those) We have the freedom to do what we want to, take breaks when we need to, and my goal with him has always been from the beginning "happy learning" So if he's happy, and I'm happy, and we are learning something, we are good.

I also instigated a little token reward system which really helps with his motivation the last half of the week. I'll post about that soon :)

I Know That My Savior Loves Me- verse 2

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to present verse 2 of I Know That My Savior Loves Me. For verse 1, I did the whole When, Where, How, Why... format. You can see my whole lesson HERE. I do have a word document for the first & second verse created, but it just didn't feel right this time and I really wanted to use pictures instead of words since I had separate Jr./Sr. primaries now.
So this is what I came up with this for Junior Primary:
Now I am Here in a Beautiful Place
Last verse we talked about Jesus and how he visited the Nephites "a long time ago" NOW we are talking about US in verse 2. We are still here on Earth in a beautiful place. WHAT are we doing here? Learning the teachings of Jesus. 
Sing together a couple times.

Did Heavenly Father send us to Earth and say, "good luck, see ya later?" Or did he send us with people that loves us?
RIGHT! He sent us to Earth with Parents & Teachers who would help guide us.
Parents and Teachers will help guide the way,
Lighting our path ev'ry day.
See this path? It's not dark. We are not alone. It is lit up, we know where to go.
-Sing a couple times, and then sing from beginning. Repetition is KEY!

Now, we talked about this in verse 1- WHY did Jesus bring the children around him? WHY did he talk to them, bless them, pray for them? 
Because He loved them. And he loves us now. We weren't there back then, but we can still feel His love for us NOW as we feel the Spirit.
Wrapped in the arm of my Saviors love
I feel His gentle touch.
Show the picture. See how His arm is around the boy? You can tell he loves him. He loves us too!
Sing together a couple times and then sing from the beginning.

Alright, now the next line is our part- our job while we are here on Earth. Listen carefully:
Living each day I will follow His way,
Show CTR sign- What does this mean? 
what are some things we can do everyday to follow His way and choose the right?
pray. read scriptures. go to church. be kind to siblings. help in family.

home to my Father above.
Where is our home? Where do you live?
at my house, in a hotel, at my grandma's. (a few answers)
Yes, that's right, that is our home NOW. But do you know where our REAL home is?
Heaven!! Our actions everyday will help us to feel our Savior's love and to make it back to Heaven. That's the whole reason we're here!

Sing a few times and then from the beginning. This all took about 20 minutes, so it was perfect timing. If you have more time, you can continue and sing the Chorus with the special ending a few times too. We will do that next week.
Next week I will be reviewing with the UNO game!!

For Senior Primary:
I gave them a piece of paper and had them draw pictures for each of those 4 parts.
As they drew, we sang. It worked out really for our small group- we only had 6 kids, so we talked as they drew and colored their pictures. 

Then we played the UNO game for the last 5 minutes. We could've played even longer, it was fun!
UNO Game lesson HERE!

Here are the print outs I used for this lesson:

images from Susan Fitch Designs

January 5, 2015

Golden Note with a Twist- Fun Singing Time Game!

My kids LOVE playing the Golden Note game in Singing Time- It's like hot & cold, where we hide a music note and as the finder is searching we sing louder when they get closer, and quiet when they are far away.

I needed an activity where we could sing the same song over & over so I added in a fun twist. Everytime they hid & found a note, the finder gets to put it on the board to create our own silly song for the pianist to play. The kids giggled & giggled as our pianist tried to play this non-sense song they created!

HERE Is the template I used to print these fun notes! Then I put magnet strips on the back :)

I Know That My Savior Loves Me- Singing Time!

I LOVE this new song we have for our 2015 program songs! I Know That My Savior Loves Me is so beautiful and such a special song. When my niece was baptized, she sang a solo of this song and the Spirit was so strong. Because she happened to be visiting us last week, I had her come up and sing for the kids and help me teach it line by line. (I'm afraid of singing in front of the kids unless I know the song REALLY well! I just don't have a great voice but I am trying to be braver!)

I introduced the song by sharing why it's special to me personally, then I talked about how we have clues- When, Where, Who, What, Why, How & Testimony. I had those papers on the board and put the others up one at a time as I taught the song. Lily and I would sing the first line and then have the kids repeat after us (Echo Chamber Style-- pretend we are in a cave and the children sings our echo)
WHEN: "A long time ago"
WHERE: "in a beautiful place"
WHO: "Children were gathered 'round Jesus"
I stopped and told them the story from 3 Nephi 17:11-24 in my own words and emphasized that the Savior felt SO much love for the children that he cried, and that it was very special. I also thought it was interesting that it says more than once that the words Jesus spoke could not be written because they were so sacred, and so special.

Then we sang those 2 lines together
WHAT: (what happened) "He blessed and taught as they felt of His love, Each saw the tears on His face."
WHY: ( LOVE-- He did this because He loved the children. If He loved the children back then, do you think he loves the children now?? Do you KNOW that Jesus LOVES you?!)
"The love that He felt for His little ones, I know He feels for me". We can feel His love as we feel the comfort of the Spirit.
Continue singing echo chamber line by line, then sing all together from the beginning

HOW: (How does this apply to us today? Were you there? Was I there? No. But this still applies to us today) "I did not touch Him or sit on His knee, yet Jesus is real to me"
TESTIMONY: (The chorus is our testimony of our Savior! We will sing it strong & bold!)
"I KNOW He lives! I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to Him, I know that my Savior loves me."

Sing all together! I have also posted fun follow up games if you have extra time or for the following week to practice!

I do have these all in a word document you can print out. Just comment here if you'd like me to email it to you!

December 2, 2014

Homeschooling So Far...

Well, it's been 2 days and so far, so good!!
I haven't seen my son this happy in a LONG time, and that's just another confirmation that we are doing the right thing. We are done with our work well before my kindergartner gets home, and still with enough time to squeeze in jobs, have food breaks, watch an educational movie, play a computer game, have some therapeutic drawing time, and all the other fun stuff that goes with learning!

When I first met with our homeschooling counselor, I had SO many questions, like how much work do we do each day, and how do I know if we are doing enough, how do I keep track of everything and how can I be sure that we stay on track?? I don't know if our homeschooling journey will be temporary but I'd hate to send him back to school behind just because I didn't know better!! So I was excited when she sent me a 3 week plan for us to accomplish and was able to break those into weeks, and then days. I prefer ripping out his worksheet pages and stapling them by day, then I place them into this file folder with our schedule stapled on the front and back covers. I love these pages by Passion Planner. I also have a master sheet to give to her that she will sign off once a month but I like this weekly organization system. I think it'll work well!

DAY 1:
My son smiled ALL day. While he was doing his worksheets, while he was reading, while he was drawing... he was like giddy to be doing "School" work in the playroom! We got a fair amount of work done, although I did notice that he takes a long time to get work done. Drags it on a bit, stops to chat about random facts, re-starts his sketches more often than I'd like, BUT this truly is one of the luxuries that comes with independent study!

Here's what we accomplished on our first day-
LANGUAGE ARTS: Learned about Fables, Read 5 fables, created his own fable & illustrated the picture (This took about 2 hours in all!)
Learned vocabulary words, wrote them on word strips, took a pre-test, hung up words on window in groupings of "wh" "ch" "sh" "th" I love doing things like this where he can hold the words and manipulate them on the board (window). I want to get some window markers since we don't have the wall space anywhere for a real board.
MATH: Took a math online placement test (this took about an hour, and he didn't like it because it was a lot of stuff he hasn't learned yet so he felt bad about it. I kept reminding him that it's ok, you haven't learned that yet, just guess, but it was hard not to want to explain it all to him!)
SCIENCE: Learned about Pompeii, watched part of the discovery movie (He will be going to the Pompeii museum this week!)
P.E: 20 minutes cardio (scooter riding to park!)
DAY 2:
We had a little resistance this morning. Not sure why, but it was raining, and I know he was tired. I do wish we had the luxury most homeschooling families have to sleep in a bit, but my 5 year old is still in school, so up at 6:45 we are!
We pushed through it though, and he changed his attitude once we finished the morning story & worksheet and I let him have some free reading time. A good book about Tigers always does the trick ;)
LANGUAGE ARTS: Read China Town and did 2 corresponding worksheets, alphabetizing worksheet, definition/matching worksheet.
MATH: addition & subtraction using the number line. He struggled a bit because he's used to his "Mad Minute" timed test, so he rushed through and didn't check his work. We'll have to work on taking his time and double checking answers.
RELIGION: read 2 chapters of the children's Book of Mormon
SCIENCE: planted seeds in an egg crate, Bearded Dragon report & drawing

November 30, 2014

Christmas Songs- Primary Singing Time

We were asked to sing Picture a Christmas (CS 50) for our sacrament meeting before Christmas, so it's time to start practicing! I'm printing these pictures: and laminating with magnetic backing so I can put up the pictures as we sing each part. (For sacrament meeting, I'll use a cookie sheet instead of a flip chart!) After we learn the song in primary, I'll pick reverent helpers to put each picture up as we sing that part. You could even print off a set for each class to do as we practice & sing!

We were also asked to sing Away in a Manger (CS 42) So we will learn that as well, and I'll do some fun things for the echos. Kids/teachers, boys/girls, left side/right side, junior primary/senior primary (we meet together)

Here are the other songs we will sing this month:
Christmas Bells (54)- with handbells! (maybe just for Senior Primary)
The Nativity Song (52)- make 4 squares on the board and have a couple kids come up and draw a picture for each line. Then play 4 corners by splitting the room in 4 parts and having them sing just one part each, then switch parts so each corner sings a different line each time we practice!
Jingle Bells- with pipe cleaners bent in circle with bells. Great for nursery too!
He Sent His Son (34) (from last year's program so they know this already. I love to use Dynamics sticks to show when to sing quietly, slowly, loudly- really helps to get feeling into the song! I use animals- bunny, snail, lion and they know what it means)
Jesus Said Love Everyone (61) quick & easy. Another fun one for 4 corners, or just 4 pictures to represent each line.
Once there was a Snowman- with actions, of course!!

5 Great Healthy Holiday Gifts

Here are some GREAT ideas for Christmas gifts {for yourself or} loved ones. We just ended our Pennies for Pounds group where we invested some change each day as we made good choices for our health. The timing is perfect since we are enjoying Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals this weekend!

I've found the best way to be successful in reaching my fitness goals is to have a plan and some fun ways to keep myself motivated. I LOVE our support groups and excited about our next December group of women. It's going to be awesome!

1. SHOES! Here's a great article about finding the best sneaker for your type of workout: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/…/runnin…/sneaker-guide-2014/ I'm a huge fan of the NIKE FREE:http://store.nike.com/us/en_us/pw/free-shoes/brkZ9zm…
2. WORKOUT CLOTHES: If there's anything that motivates me most to workout, it's finding a new outfit to sport while I do it {and taking a selfie before & after :)} I love fabletics and your first outfit is $25 when you get a membership! They do also have some Black Friday specials going on this weekend. http://www.fabletics.com/invite/49863983/
3. NEW FITNESS PROGRAM: I'm one of those people that walks into the gym and goes, "um, what do I do now?" Unless I have a scheduled class, I'm clueless. I LOVE having a routine that is fool-proof, and I can follow each day and KNOW I am going to get the results I want. We have programs for new moms to slim down, tone up, build muscle, bulk up... pretty much whatever you want to do, we can help you achieve those goals. Contact me if you want some to help you identify your goals and find a good program to match. In 25-45 minutes a day, I can help you get a plan and stay on track!
4. SHAKEOLOGY: This is my favorite "stay fit, feel good" trick and I want to share with you. Shakeology is a meal replacement shake with 9 servings of fruit & veggies, and TONS of superfoods to help your body function at its best. Helps with healthy weight loss, increases energy, improves digestion and lower cholesterol. It's great for diabetes because it has a low glycemic index, and will be your healthiest meal of the day. I love how fast it is to mix up and that I know I am getting all the nutrients I need to look & feel my best. You can get a 30 day supply or start out with just a 7 day trial- just message me for details --or click on the 7 day trial link on the right----->
5. NINJA Blender: 
I use my NINJA everyday and LOVE it!! I love being able to just switch out the lids and GO... $30 off this weekend only thru QVC.

Alright, those are my ideas for healthy Christmas gifts!!
Remember this is Black Friday weekend so you can score some awesome deals right now!

November 17, 2014

WHY I am choosing to homeschool my son:

So I'm not sure if anyone reads my non-craft related posts, and I don't want to get too personal here BUT I have so many thoughts and just have to sit and type them out, whether someone is listening or not!!

Tyler is my 7 year old. He is in second grade and I will be pulling him out of his class to homeschool him starting next week. I've never thought I would make this choice but I've had enough of what is going on at school. Tyler is super creative. He has tons of energy and loves learning. He thrives when given a creative task and special responsibility, loves easily and is kind to everyone. Even the bully that punched him every day for 2 weeks last year until he got kicked out of school. Even the teacher that is overstepping her authoritative boundaries and making school a miserable place for my son.

So here are some of the incidences we've dealt with:
Note sent home after the first week of school: "Tyler has trouble focusing, paying attention and is bothersome to children around him"
Makes noises disrupting classmates, taps pencil even in one on one instruction.

FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL: Loss of recess for not being in his spot in line #19, girl in front of him (#18) and girl behind him (#20) were in the bathroom.

After the first week of school I asked for a meeting with her to see what was going on and we discussed some ideas to help him with a reward system and daily post it's with a :), :l or :( depending on how the day went. Here are the notes on our sad face days, and then my son's account of what really happened:

:( Daily report: "Incomplete Classwork"
because he & another child were talking in class, Tyler got removed from his desk, had to sit on the ground and couldn't finish work. Other student (in the advanced academic group) had no punishment

:( Daily report: "Tattling"
2 boys were splashing water in the bathroom and playing under the stalls. Obviously she was too annoyed to hear what happened.

:( Daily report: "Hitting"
another boy hit Tyler, he hit back. That boy hit him again. WHEN they were benched from recess because the other boy kicked him the day before, and he kicked back.

We discussed a reward system that she would help with in class, yet he hasn't "earned" anything. He got a "caught being good" award outside of her class for picking up trash, and she never gave it to him. Instead, she is choosing "4 star listeners" and "advanced academic students" to earn those rewards. Because obviously they deserve it more.

This teacher has suggested in one of our conferences that we should probably have him checked out "medically" to see if there is some learning disability going on... let's just rule it out. She worded this so nicely, I'm sure she's trained to do so. BUT at the same time, this sends my brain whirling in a million different direction. Does my child have ADD, ADHD? He DOES have a lot of energy. He DOES get distracted easily. He DOES have trouble holding still for long periods of time... but then again, he's a 7 year old boy. And I forgot to shave one leg last night in the shower... so I must have ADD too.

So how much of this is a personality clash between a super uptight, my-way-or-the-highway, highly un-flexible teacher, and a creative, energetic, spirited, outside-of-the-box thinker?? Or is there a serious issue going on? He is behind on reading, yet all this focus is on his "behavior" is taking away from the effort we should be putting into his education. And then after she tells me how behind he is in reading, she tells me that she isn't as worried for him academically, as she is "emotionally, and socially" and then the following words were, well I'm late for our next conference, so thanks for coming in!

After MANY weeks of replaying our discussions, working in the classroom to get a feel of the environment and dynamics, lots of tears, prayers and worries, I've decided enough is enough.

I'm not willing to let my son's crucial years where he decides if he likes school or not, where he tries to see if he fits in with the good kids or the bad kids determine his outcome in life. Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I actually don't think so. Maybe I'm way over my head here to decided to homeschool him with a 5 year old and a 2 year old and a coaching business. But I can't deny the miraculous ways that the Lord has answered my prayers and my pleadings to protect my son.

I have experienced so many answers and revelations that I could create a whole new post about the ways the Lord answered my prayers, and some of them are so intimate and special I should just keep them in my private journal, but He was kind enough to answer me in many different ways- through the kindness of friends and strangers, through mere coincidences that put me in the right place at the right time to hear just what I needed to hear, through the scripture stories, through commercials on the radio, through my own thoughts and urges. And when I question my decision again (for the 24th time because that's how I am), I have a peaceful feeling to take the next step. Even though I am pretty much walking off a cliff blindly, I KNOW He will lay down a stone for me to step on. I know He will be present in our daily lessons. I know He will continue to answer my prayers as we make some serious decisions about if we should test him or not. I know He will lead me and guide me and walk beside me as we follow in Faith.

November 8, 2014

Pass the Pumpkin, Sing in Round: Primary Singing Time

If you missed our Thankful Turkey lesson, you can find it HERE!
Here's another fun lesson for November!!

Pass the Pumpkin:
We sing I am Glad for Many Things (151), it really only takes a minute to learn, it's so easy! I have 
"I am Glad for" written on the board before they come in.
We sing it a few times and pass a baby pumpkin as we sing. When the song ends, whoever it lands on will say one thing they are thankful for. Write it on the board! Once you have done this 3 times in a row, you will have 3 things to substitute in the song for "many things"
One example is:
I am Glad for
Lego Toys,
Food to Eat,
and My Mom
I am Glad for many things
That are mine today!

Then depending on how much time you have, do it again!!
The second verse is great because we talk about saying Thank You (which is what Thanksgiving is all about!) You could pass the pumpkin again and have them name one way they can "say" thank you. Like, help my mom, say my prayers, write a letter...

Sing in Round:
We learn For Health and Strength (21) line by line.
I use these pictures to help me teach the words as well as the word strips so they know what the 4 parts are for the round! 
1. We talk about our healthy bodies, and all the things we can do with them. Have them jump, turn around, wave their arms, stomp their feet.
2. We talk about how we have food to eat each day, and not everyone around the world has that blessing.
3. We talk about what "praise" means and how we can thank the Lord through prayer
4. We talk about how the "Lord" could mean God or Jesus but we can thank them both for the blessings we have!
This is super fun and the kids love singing all together. I split up the room into 4 parts (you could have them go in four corners if you want!) Then rotate the pictures so they each get to do each part! I think we sang 3 times in a row, then of course the last group will do a little solo once the other groups end :)

Have FUN!!

Thankful Turkeys- November Singing Time

 I love this time of year, when the Primary program is over and we get to start doing holiday stuff!!
So last week, I printed up a piece of paper for all the kids to fill out. It said:
I am thankful for:
My favorite primary song is:

Then I incorporated these songs in my lesson! I made a list of the things they were thankful for and was able to incorporate ALL the things they listed in this lesson. Then I tried to use most of the songs they chose as well, but you could always just save that for another day. It was cute because some kids answered with: Lego toys, bunk beds, kitty cat, food. So I clumped the others* into "Many Things" and other kids did temples, Christ, church, scriptures... topics that are easy to pick a song with. It was fun to read through them.

So basically, I cut out these pieces to make the turkey and feathers, and laminated each piece separately. Then I put some painters tape on the back to label the feathers so I can switch it up each year.
Last year I used their own words for what they were thankful for, but this year in a time crunch, I just made up my own. Here are some topics & songs you could sing:

Family: The Family is of God or Families Can Be Together Forever 188
Scriptures: Book of Mormon Stories 88, Scripture Power
Jesus: I'm Trying to be like Jesus 78, He Sent His Son 34
Temples: I love to see the Temple 95
Heavenly Father/Earth/World/Animals: I am a Child of God 2, My Heavenly Father Loves Me 228, Popcorn Popping 242, Birds in the Tree 241
Healthy Bodies: Head Shoulders, Knees & Toes 275, Hinges 277
Primary: Here we are Together, I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ 77
Prophets: Follow the Prophet 110
Other*: I am Glad for Many Things 151
This song is SO easy and SO fun- if you don't do it already, I'd strongly suggest it!! You can list these "many things" on the board, like "food to eat, lego toys, and my bed" and sing that instead of "many things, many things, many things." It's a fun way to continue singing and could take up as much or as little time as you have!
With the second verse, we talk about how important it is to say Thank You and that's what Thanksgiving is all about!!

Hope you enjoy doing this lesson!! Here are a few more Thanksgiving Lessons I've done in November:
Pass the Pumpkin, Sing in Round

November 5, 2014

Pennies for Pounds- investing in your health (FREE Support Group!)

I'm trying something **totally different** but super excited about it!!
I hear a lot of people say their budget is what holds them back from focusing on their health, especially this time of year. I talk to a lot of moms who give everything to their kids and have little left for themselves.
What if you are able to receive the support, tips & resources you need to become healthier for FREE, and in a way investing "pennies" into your health "fund"

Here's how it works:
In our private *Pennies for Pounds* support group, you do whatever workout you want to do. Dust off those DVD's and commit to a workout a day. If you don't have a routine to follow, I will provide a plan for you with no equipment needed. 
I will also provide a clean eating meal plan for you to follow so you have the whole {fitness + exercise + support} part of the equation covered!

--You miss your workout? Throw some change in the jar
--Have a cheat meal? Empty your pockets
--{We weigh in once a week.} Loose a pound? Add a dollar to the jar. 
Because we are not "punishing" ourselves, 
we are also rewarding ourselves for our success too!

At the end of the challenge, you get to use the money in your jar to invest in something for your health! It could be a new pair of shoes, a yoga mat, the fitness program you've always wanted, new exercise outfit or Shakeology... anything health/fitness related!

What do you think?? Who's in? Comment here or message me if you want to be a part of this!!

November 2, 2014

Follow the Prophet Singing Time- NOAH

Today I taught the Noah verse of Follow The Prophet (Children's Songbook #110)
We had so much fun & I really enjoyed getting this lesson ready and teaching it to the kids! The ideas came to me late on Saturday night, after a super busy week- and after a beautiful rainstorm!
I found this awesome arc print-out HERE, and my kids enjoyed cutting out the pieces and building the arc this morning!

Each raindrop has a question written on the back and we either sing to find the answer or for the BONUS questions, take a guess or ask a teacher! (For senior primary, you could even give them a verse to read the scriptures to find the answer!!) As we would pull off each raindrop to read the question, I would put it under the arc to form the "flood".

So to start out, I told them we would sing "Echo Chamber" style, meaning that I would sing a line and they pretend they're in a cave and get to be my echo! When I first started out as chorister, I was terrified of singing by myself (like super-highly anxious, stomach ache kinda nervous!!) But I watched THIS video one day and it really made me realize it doesn't matter how I sing, but that I do so with the spirit, and of course I always ask for help & have found the Lord has blessed my voice to be stronger and I'm much more confident now!

So, I sang the first line
"Adam was a prophet, called to preach the word" 
and they repeated it.
Then I picked a "reverent helper" from the stick system we use to answer the question. (We have a cup of large popsicle sticks with their name on each one. I draw a stick when I need a helper, and if they are being reverent--they get to help!)
-Question #1: Who was Noah? A prophet of God (see, we are going very simple here)
Re-sing the line if they don't know the answer and they will catch on quickly that the answers can be found in the song!!
-BONUS #1: How old was Noah when he built the arc? 600 years old! I had a 9 year old boy *guess* this answer!!
-Question #2: What was Noah called to preach to the people? The “word” of God/gospel.

Then we sang line 1& 2 together, they echo line 2:
"Tried to cry repentance, but nobody heard"
-Question #3: What does repentance mean? To say sorry & stop doing the bad things.
-Question #4: Who listened to Noah? “nobody” (except his family!) His family had faith that Noah was following God, and they went with him in the arc and were protected!
-BONUS #2: How many sons did Noah have? and What were their names? 3 sons- Shem, Ham, Japheth (the child who was picked had a Grandma who was a primary teacher in the room, so she asked her for help!)

We then sang lines 1-3, they echo line 3:
-Question #5: What were the people of Noah’s time doing? "Sinning"- very wicked & violent. Remeber to RE-sing that line if they need help answering the question! The more we repeat, the better!!
-Question #6: What did the Lord tell Noah He was going to do? Going to destroy every living thing on the face of the earth because the people were evil & would not listen. Rain for 40 days & 40 nights. Noah needed to build an arc to keep his family & 2 of every animal safe! (This was a very vague question so I took any answer- a sunbeam gave a great answer!) Pretty much just explain the rest of the story of Noah that hasn't been discussed yet :)

Then we sang the WHOLE song together & the chorus!! The kids already knew the chorus because of learning it this year for the program, but they only knew the first verse about Adam. So we stood & sang together & marched during the chorus. They love doing this!

We had a little extra time so I asked if they wanted to do a couple more BONUS questions and they all said yes!! 
-BONUS #3: How old was Noah when he died? 950! (I reminded them that he built the arc at 600 years old, the child guessed 1,000- so close!!)
-BONUS #4: What does the Rainbow Represent? The promise/covenant the Lord made with man to not flood the earth again. I also reminded them that we sing about rainbows in When I am Baptized because rainbows help us remember that we can start fresh & clean by repenting anytime we need to!

We then sang Rain is Falling All Around (CS 241) with actions-- to get their wiggles out before Sharing Time, and we sang it faster and faster with the pianist. It was super fun!

Anyways, it was a huge success, and I had a blast, the kids loved it and I will be teaching more verses throughout the next few months. I was so happy to read that Follow The Prophet will be a song in the 2015 program too!! I loved the line by line teaching and the questions added a fun twist. Let me know if you find this helpful!!

October 27, 2014

Fall into FOCUS- Fitness Accountability Group Sign Ups!

I'm excited to announce our next Fitness Challenge!! Who's ready to lose 5-10 pounds before Thanksgiving--the fun & healthy way!
We will combine Fitness & Nutrition along with tons of accountability & support to reach your goals! Our Clean Eating plan teaches about portion control and how to eat a balanced diet, and you will receive a 21 day meal plan that will take all the guesswork out of WHAT to eat! 
The workout program is 30 minutes a day (because we are all so busy!) with lots of variety, and a fool-proof schedule that you can follow along at any level- there's even a modifier that shows how to do the moves lower impact if you need to modify in the beginning! 
Our private accountability group is full of motivated women to help keep us on track!! We have a fun point system & prizes that makes getting fit so much more fun!
I don't like to admit this but I frequently fall into an idle, excuses, borderline depression mode when I am not on track fitness-wise. For me, working out & eating healthy helps me find a BALANCE and FOCUS on the most important things in life. I find that I am more open to revelation and creativity when I'm actively using my body. So I admit...
I've been a little off-track lately, and I'm not going to let my default mode find me victim to my sweet tooth & all these Halloween temptations this Fall! I LOVE setting goals for myself and having a balance in my days. I also love to help others get a plan and find so much joy in helping them reach their goals! Let's FOCUS on finding the BEST of ourselves!
I'm starting another 21 day round next week, so we will begin on November 5th and end November 26-- RIGHT before THANKSGIVING!! Can you believe it's a month away?? I just need a few friends to hold me accountable and I will do the same for you!! I also have an awesome CASH back offer for the first 3 people who are ready & committed to make the next 21 days AMAZING!
You can sign up HERE for our group, and I will message you FIRST so we can talk about your goals and make sure this program is a good fit for you! 

October 23, 2014

Family Home Evening: Filling our Buckets with Kindness

Every Monday Night (or another night each week) we have a Family Night. We pray together, read a lesson, play a game and enjoy a treat.
This past week, we read this book "How Full is Your Bucket" and talked about how everything we do & say affects others, and that we are in control of our thoughts & attitudes. Then I gave the kids a challenge to do kind things for each other and when I witness something kind, I will let them pick a "warm fuzzy" to fill the family bucket. My kids are 7, 5 and 2, so really this just applies to my older boys, but even our little Lulu notices when her brothers are being extra nice! When we fill the bucket, we get to take a little family trip up to the mountains!! So far, a week later, we only have a few warm fuzzies, but the kids are definitely more mindful of what they do & say lately!

Tyler shared his lollipop with Jackson, when Jack's fell on the ground
Tyler, Jackson & Lulu made get well cards for their Aunt Kaylynn
Jackson did one of Tyler's chores without being asked. 

These small things help to fill the other person's {imaginary} bucket and when we fill others' buckets, we also fill our own! We also talked about Christ's example of love in the service He did for others while on Earth. It was a great little lesson. My kids don't have a very long attention span, so it was just perfect!

Shakeology- Healthiest Meal of the Day

I can't even tell you how much I LOVE these Shakes!
These super nutritious meal replacement shakes are NOT your normal protein drink. They actually contain 9 servings of fruit & vegetables and superfoods from all over the world to help your body function at its best.
Here's a video that talks about these superfood ingredients and how they help your body:

I have always suffered from low energy & fatigue, ever since I had a blood transfusion with my second baby. He was an emergency C-section and so many things went wrong with his labor & delivery. Luckily everything turned out fine and he was born perfectly perfect, BUT I was left with a few scars and bruises that I just like to call my battle wounds! One of those results was that I could hardly get through the day, I had such little energy. Along with little sleep, the stress of being a mommy, and all the work it takes to run a house & keep it a home, I was definitely looking for something to help me feel like myself again!
I found Shakeology, and along with a healthy diet & exercise I am 25 lbs lighter and 100% happier, and I feel so much better inside & out! Now I share with others because I know what a gift it is! Sometimes I am running around so much, the only thing I have time for is to grab a shake & go, and luckily I can rest easy that I am getting all the nutrients I need in just one meal. If you would like to try Shakeology for 7 days so you can taste the different flavors & really see how your body feels, apply HERE, or just purchase using the button below and let me know what flavors you'd like in notes to seller! 
You'll receive your choice of 7 flavors
-VEGAN chocolate
-VEGAN tropical strawberry
30 Days of Recipes showing HOW to make your shake taste amazing
A full menu plan and how to join our free online support & accountability group!

21 Day Fitness & Nutrition Challenge!

I don't know about you, but it takes me a long time to create a habit, and truly KEEP it. My day is jam-packed with good things- taking the kids to school, tidying up the house, preschool projects with my 2 year old, blogging, posting, picking up the kids, homework time, free-play while I prep dinner, make dinner, recover from dinner, baths/showers, reading time, bedtime and do it all again tomorrow!! I mean, that's a lot of things that I do for OTHERS, but I haven't had much ME time. I used to think that taking time for myself was selfish. Now I know that when I take the time for myself, I have MORE to give to others.

Do you feel like you are just giving, giving, and don't take time for yourself? That is so normal, especially for us moms who's sole purpose is to keep the kids happy and alive at the end of the day (only a little bit kidding here!)
I want to invite you to take the 21 day CHALLENGE to a better, stronger, happier YOU. In this challenge, we will incorporate both fitness & nutrition to help you feel better, have more energy and reach those health goals you've been putting off due to the craziness of mommyhood.. it's time!
So here are the details: 30 minutes a day of working out at home (because we are all busy!), portion control guidance with these color coded containers, and an ultra-nutritious shake full of dense superfoods that will help you lose weight, leave you with more energy, improve digestion and control junk-food cravings. It's a combination for success. Not only will you have all the resources you need to be successful but will be added to our amazing support group for tons of support & motivation to reach your goals!

{This specific 21 day group is JUST for women. But if you are a guy, my husband also runs fitness support groups for men only, so just let me know and I will connect you to him!}
To enroll in our 21 day Challenge, Go HERE or comment with your email for more details! {Submit your email in the online form for a free DVD and so I can chat with you about your goals to see if this program would be a good fit for you!}

October 22, 2014

Sneak Peek- 21 Day Fix Meal Plan!

One of my VERY favorite fitness programs is 21 Day Fix! I love it because the workouts are only 30 minutes long & there's tons of variety in the exercises- from lower body, upper body, cardio, cardio with weights, total body, yoga, pilates & plyo. The other thing I LOVE about this program is the nutrition plan. Instead of counting calories, you get these color coded containers that teach all about portion control & how to eat a balanced diet. I learned so much from following this plan. I was shocked that I was NEVER hungry! But I also never had that full feeling when you walk away from the table and wish you had a few less bites.
Here's a little sneak peek at how the meal plan works.... each color container represents a different food group. Purple= Fruit (Grapes) Red= Protein (Turkey Burger Patty) Yellow= Grain (Bun- MultiGrain sandwich thins). 

The size of the box teaches you how MUCH food to eat. Then depending on your weight & goals you'll get so many of each container per day.

This program teaches not only WHAT foods to eat to fuel your body but HOW much of it, because even good foods can be over eaten. In my experience though, what I LOVE about this program is that I have to make a conscious effort to eat enough. We do 6 meals a day which helps you to constantly have enough nutrients & energy to get everything done you need to & feel great doing it.

Click HERE for more information about this awesome program {Enter your email for a free DVD, and so I can contact you regarding your goals!} Not only will I help you find a program that will help you reach your goals, I will walk you through the workouts, give you a full nutrition plan to follow for 21 days, and put you in a private support group through facebook so you can be surrounded by other supportive, uplifting people who are all working on a healthier lifestyle!

Follow in Christ's Footsteps- Primary Singing Time

Singing Time in Primary!
I have been the Music Leader in Primary (our church's Children's Organization) for over 3 years now, and I just love it! The funny thing is, I am NOT musical, and I have the WORST voice in the world (or at least I do without the Lord's help) I've realized though, that 1. the children don't care what my voice sounds like, AND 2. it's more about the message we are teaching than it is about the notes to the song. We are able to feel the Spirit as we sing about the truths of the gospel and that's the most important thing about helping these children build their testimonies!

The picture isn't great but I wanted to show you what I did this past week and it went so well! I love to keep things simple and really focus on gospel principles and especially our Savior. I had 5 pictures up on the board of Jesus Christ with a footprint next to each one with a song on the back. 
Nativity scene: He Sent His Son. 
Jesus baptism: When I am Baptized or The Baptism Song 
Christ with disciples: I will follow gods plan (talked about how disciple=followers of Christ). 
Christ on cross (I stand all amazed). 
Christ's resurrection: child picks a song that has strengthened their testimony of Jesus. We did I'm trying to be like Jesus.

For each song I picked a stick with the child's name on it (this is how we choose our helpers. I always say, I'm looking for a reverent helper- and that if they aren't being reverent when I pick their name I will put their name back in-- never had to do that, this works like a charm!!) That child gets to come up to the board to choose a pic and explain to the primary what was in the picture. WE have mostly junior kids in our combined primary and even the little ones could do it! Then we sang that song in a fun way. 

For He sent His Son, I used dynamics sticks (bunny-fast, music note-regular, lion-loud/strong, snail-slow, in that order.) I love doing this with this song because they really sing with feeling and it's fun! 
For the other songs we did Golden note, name that tune, and 4 corners for I stand all amazed (I used the idea from the manual with the GAB pics) we also did the echo chamber for a quick review of just the 1st verse, not chorus. 

Then I bore my testimony about Christ and that if we will follow his example & walk in his footsteps we will become more like Him and be able to live with him again some day  I hope this makes sense, let me know if you have any questions!

TurboFire Chili

The nights are getting cooler and I LOVE a good chili in the Fall! This recipe is from one of my favorite workout programs, TurboFire and it's made with Ground Turkey instead of Beef. I have a super sensitive stomach and the healthier I eat, the more sensitive I am to ground beef & dairy. So this recipe is perfect! It's also packed with beans & tomatoes and tons of nutrients :) Plus my kiddos love it with tortilla chips broken & sprinkled on top like taco soup!

1 lb. lean ground turkey
½ cup diced tomatoes
8 oz. whole kernel corn, canned
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
8 oz. black beans, canned
8 oz. pinto, chili, or kidney beans canned
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 package Lawry’s chili seasoning
4 oz. low-fat shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions: Brown turkey. Drain and discard any fat. Place all ingredients except cheese into a slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high. Top with 1 oz cheese if desired.

Easy peasy, and totally delicious!!